Pence praises bishop who called gay people 'demonic' at MLK event

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In a sermon streamed on the White House YouTube feed, the Tennessee pastor preached that homosexuality was the 'work of the devil.'

Vice President Mike Pence spoke Sunday at a Tennessee church service streamed on the White House's official YouTube channel and praised the church's founder, Bishop Jerry Wayne Taylor for his "great ministry" in the state.

Minutes later, Taylor launched into a sermon in which he condemned LGBTQ people as "demonic."

In remarks first flagged by the Commercial Appeal on Sunday, Pence told the Holy City Church of God in Christ in Memphis that he was there representing Donald Trump. He enthusiastically extolled Taylor, who founded the church 32 years ago.

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"Let's give thanks to God for what he's done through Bishop Taylor," Pence told the congregation, "through this great ministry in Memphis and all across Tennessee since 1988."

Not long after Pence's remarks, Taylor took the pulpit and delivered a fierce condemnation of homosexuality as the work of the devil.

"Two men can’t have a baby. Two women can’t have a baby," he declared. "It’s a demonic spirit that causes a woman to want to lie with another woman. It’s a demonic spirit that causes a man to be attracted to another man."

“If a man gets attracted to me, he’s gonna be in trouble," he continued. "Don’t put your hands on me! Amen. God didn’t make us for that. He made a man to be a man. If you want to know what God made you, when you go to the bathroom, just check your plumbing. What kind of plumbing are you using?"

Taylor then falsely claimed that other animals are never gay.

It is unclear whether Pence was present for Taylor's sermon or aware of the remarks. He does not appear to have denounced the comments publicly.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the matter.

The Trump administration has worked diligently to roll-back protections for LGBTQ Americans since its earliest days. Pence himself has a long record opposing LGBTQ equality, having endorsed harmful so-called "conversion therapy" and having signed a law during his tenure as Indiana governor allowing discrimination under the guise of religious liberty.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.